Zadina

Interview with Dave Kosak and Hadidjah Chamberlin on Rastakhan's Rumble & More

Sign in to follow this  

1 post in this topic

z8DgKt8.jpg

Aleco is attending BlizzCon and he had a chance to sit down with Game Designer Dave Kosak and Senior FX Artist Hadidjah Chamberlin on Rastakhan's Rumble, the single player adventures and general Hearthstone stuff!

If you want to see more of our BlizzCon 2018 coverage, check out our BlizzCon News Hub.

Blizzard LogoDave Kosak & Hadidjah Chamberlin

- Free single player adventures started with KFT, and I really think they started out on high note there. However, it seems like you guys have somehow managed to outdo yourself with the single player content each successive expansion . Larger focus on single player campaign or getting better?

Kosak: The missions team is relatively new. It has grown in numbers and gotten better. They experiment and redefine what single player is. There is a panel on single player missions on Saturday.

- When you look into these mission do you start their design process from a thematic perspective?

Kosak: Yeah, the main goal is to express the theme of the expansion. For example, Rastakhan's Rumble is about Nine epic teams that fight against each other. So we try to convey that fantasy in the missions.

- Seeing as HS is fundamentally played in a 2D space, what’s the secret to making successful graphics in effects that are visually compelling without distracting from the core gameplay experience of operating on a game board?

Chamberlin: Blizzard's main value is known to be gameplay-centric. The design process of these graphical effects is fantasy driven, they are there to make the gameplay more exciting and they are not too distracting. We want to show how cool and powerful a card is and make its idea come across clearly. We try to balance all of these, but mostly the graphics are centered around the mechanics.

We get to design these stuff quite late in the whole card creation process, meaning that what the card does is already fleshed out. The art team check with all the other teams like the sound and the design team.

Kosak: The board space is 2D, but everything else in Hearthstone is 3D.  In Rastakhan's Rumble, you will be able to summon a powerful Loa, monsters will pop out the board or chomp on your opponent. The game feels like it is coming to life.

- Have you ever thought of rotating the camera angle of Hearthstone to give it a truly 3D feel?

Chamberlin: We want to maintain the board game fantasy of "looking down at the box". The fixed camera is there to keep this illusion.

- Let's talk about in-game rewards. Adventures have given packs, random legendaries, card backs, and even heroes. What is the process of assigning rewards in single player campaigns?

Kosak: We want to be careful with this. Our main motivation is that the most rewarding part of the game is for players to face against other players. We don't want to give something too good so people feel that they have to play single player. However, single player missions still need to be fun and offer a reward so there is an incentive to play them. It's something we are constantly talking about.

- We have cards that swap hands, cards that swap decks: what's next when it comes to crazy effects? Could we swap boards or take control of our enemy's turn?

Kosak: We try to be not too mean with Hearthstone, apart from Azari, the Devourer but it's something you can see coming. There isn't something too over the top crazy in Rastakhan's Rumble, apart from perhaps Hi'reek (revealed in the Hearthstone: What's Next panel). There are definitely many kinds of crazy effects, for example, Whizbang the Wonderful is a bonkers card.

In Rastakhan's Rumble, we have some minions with interesting effects, the Spirits and the Loa. Spirits are build-around cards, they go well with the Loa. The Loa are going to feel very legendary.

Chamberlin: When you blow up those combos between Spirits and Loa, you will feel pretty rad!

Both: This set is all about winning with style and flashy cards. The Overkill mechanic also emphasises this thematic.

- Do the Spirits and the Loa interact graphically too?

Chamberlin: They don't have special interactions with each other. We wanted to play up the team spirit across the entire set. So they use the same colour palette, textures, visual elements. They are two parts of the same whole. It was fun playing up these class and team identities in this set.

- I have noticed the timing difference between the release of an expansion and the release of the single player adventures. Is that so players focus on the multiplayer?

Kosak: That's exactly it. We released simultaneously in Kobolds & Catacombs and players felt that they couldn't decide on what to do. We decided to space it out with The Witchwood. In Rastakhan's Rumble, you will only have to wait a week since the Christmas holidays are near the release.

- There is one new Hero card coming in Rastakhan's Rumble. What are your plans for Hero cards given that the Death Knights from Knights of the Frozen Throne will be rotating out soon?

Kosak: Thematically, they made sense for KFT and they may come back again. We don't feel that every class needs to have a Hero card.

- When you think about all of the animations and the graphics done for cards, do you feel that there is any weird origin story that needs to be told? Or something really challenging?

Chamberlin: Azari, the Devourer was a pretty big sequence. Curious Glimmerroot was pretty crazy too to get right. For this set, Loa are cool and different, pretty elaborate to make. Their animations took probably a day or two for most of them. Thankfully, there were a lot of references from WoW to borrow from.

- For our last question, what's your favourite little detail or perhaps Easter egg in Hearthstone?

Kosak: Sulthraze, which was shown on the reveal announcement, was the first ever epic weapon that I got in World of Warcraft. It was huge to see it in Hearthstone.

Chamberlin: I am super fond of flavour texts, they crack me up!

Kosak: There is a lot of trash-talking between the Troll champions in Rastakhan's Rumble and it is exciting to see how people receive this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Zadina
      Dave Kosak is here in the latest Hearthside Chat video to talk about the lore of Rastakhan's Rumble. He also revealed two Priest cards: the Loa of Death, Bwonsamdi, and his Spirit!
      If you haven't played Battle for Azeroth, the latest WoW expansion, then this video is going to be helpful in understanding the backstory of Rastakhan's Rumble:
      The two Priest cards revealed in the video synergise very well with each other:

      As Peter Whalen and Liv Breeden mentioned in their r/Hearthstone interview, Spirits are meant to be build-around cards and this is pretty apparent with Spirit of the Dead. Apart from the obvious synergy with Bwonsamdi, the Priest Spirit can work wonders in a Clone Priest deck along with Zerek's Cloning Gallery. Spirit of the Dead can also find a spot in other archetypes like Resurrect, Big and Deathrattle Priest. The card itself is quite slow and requires some setting-up, but it looks very versatile.

      Bwonsamdi, the Loa of Death, can be used simiply to draw Spirit of the Dead, then you can kill him while the Spirit is up and shuffle him back to your deck. It's easy to see the Spirit work without Bwonsamdi, but the opposite - Bwonsamdi working without his Spirit - looks like a slim possibility. Given that all Class cards in this expansion are designed to work as a "team", we might see a card (apart from the Spirit) that can make Bwonsamdi more viable. Otherwise, the Hunter Quest never really caught on, so why would it work in a traditionally anti-aggro class like Priest?
    • By Zadina
      We have a new Tavern Brawl this week and the rules are simple: both players get to have two turns, instead of one.
      This starts from the very beginning of the game, therefore giving a big advantage to Player 1. Don't be surprised if your opponent concedes when he/she finds out that he/she has to go second (or if you have to do it)!
      Doomsayer is a must-have on this Tavern Brawl, since it clears the board immediately. Flappy Bird is also a useful card and Aggro decks are generally favoured. OTK decks also can work great since you have two turns to set up your... one-turn kill. You can also experiment with Open the Waygate and Temporus; both cards work and they give you a third turn!
    • By Zadina
      The reveal season will span between November 19 - 28.
      As usual, the card reveals will begin with a live stream on November 19 at 10:00 a.m. PST hosted by Peter Whalen and Regiskillbin.
      Then, we'll have two weeks of community card reveals:
      Week of November 19 11/19 12PM 11/19 11PM 11/20 2AM 11/20 4AM 11/20 5AM 11/20 7AM 11/20 8AM 11/20 9AM 11/20 11AM 11/20 8PM 11/21 2AM 11/21 4AM 11/21 7AM 11/21 11AM 11/21 1PM 11/21 6PM 11/21 11PM 11/22 1AM 11/22 4AM 11/22 7AM 11/22 10AM 11/22 11PM 11/23 4AM 11/23 6AM 11/23 7AM 11/23 11AM 11/23 2PM 11/23 10PM 11/23 11PM 11/24 1AM 11/24 7AM 11/24 11AM 11/24 1PM 11/24 11PM 11/25 4AM 11/25 7AM 11/25 11AM 11/25 7PM 11/25 11PM   Week of November 26 11/26 2AM 11/26 4AM 11/26 7AM 11/26 8AM 11/26 11AM 11/26 9PM 11/26 11PM 11/27 1AM 11/27 4AM 11/27 7AM 11/27 11AM 11/27 6PM 11/27 11PM Lastly, there will be a final live stream on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel on November 28 at 10:00 a.m. PST. The hosts this time will be Dean Ayala and Brian Kibler.
      Rastakhan's Rumble will release a few days afterwards, on December 4.
    • By Zadina
      The Hearthstone heroes are trying to enjoy Rastakhan's Rumble but a fellow spectator named Belligerent Gnome is annoying Rexxar!
      Wronchi have released the second part of their Rastakan's Rumble series of animations. You remember that in the first part the nine heroes were trying to get into the Gurubashi Arena. Now, we see that Rexxar, Jaina and Anduin are enjoying the games but there's a little fellow that's too loud for Rexxar's taste.
      And here he is:

      No wonder Rexxar is angry since this is definitely a Silverback Patriarch power creep! Although one would expect that Gul'dan would be equally angry, since this is a Vulgar Homunculus with a condition for every class!
      To start the serious discussion on this card, this looks like an anti-aggro tool that can also probably find its place in aggro decks as well. It's hard to see the Battlecry trigger on turn 2 exactly, making this a bit of a slower card. Dragon Priest used to have a similar card in Wyrmrest Agent, which was easier to trigger. Even decks could be a good place for Belligerent Gnome - Even Shaman, in particular, since I don't see Warlocks dropping their beloved Homunculus.
      It's definitely a versatile card with a lot of potential and it seems balanced - for now.
    • By Zadina
      Two new cards from Rastakhan's Rumble were revealed in an official blog post detailing the story of the upcoming expansion.
      The first card revealed is a neutral Pirate:

      It's important to clarify that the Overkill effect triggers only on your turn (ie. when you attack and not when you are attacked) and this minion will draw you cards even if it dies as long as you Overkill something. Other than that, it feels slow for an aggro Pirate deck and its low Health means it can be killed easily. Perhaps it could make for a decent Arena card.
      The awesomely named second card of the day is Heavy Metal!

      Here is a spell with the Geosculptor Yip effect, at a reduced cost and minus the body. Interestingly enough, this card would have been better if it costed 5 or 7 mana since it would fit in Odd Warrior, a deck that heavily utilises armoring up. Even Warrior might become a thing in the future, but still with Yip never really having caught on, it's really hard to see this card fit into any Warrior deck.
      The blog post itself is interesting, since it gives an introduction to the lore of Rastakhan's Rumble. We see Rikkar - the aspiring Troll champion, who is also the protagonist of the Rumble Run - entering the Gurubashi Arena and trying to pick which team he is going to side with. The Tigers - the Paladin team - are described as the returning champions of Rastakhan's Rumble. We are eager to see what's next for this expansion!